A lot of controversy surrounds the usage of artificial sweeteners. Some people think they are horrible for human health, while others believe that they are safe.
If you're on the fence, you need information which will make it simple to decide whether or not to use these artificial sweeteners yourself, or whether or not to give them to loved ones, such as children.
Our comprehensive guide is designed to help you get the hard facts about artificial sweeteners. We'll review their main pros and cons and then let you weigh these advantages and drawbacks.
First, we'll look at the benefits of these sweeteners. There are a few, despite what you may have heard and read! Then, we'll look at the downside of utilising them.
It's important to consider both sides of the equation. To round things out, we'll provide you with information about which artificial sweeteners are popular choices...and which ones are likely to be ingredients in the foods on store shelves.
If you like these sweeteners, you'll benefit from knowing what they are and which foods they may be found in. If you don't like them, you'll know the brands to watch for (plus their scientific, non-brand names) and how to avoid them by reviewing food ingredient labels before you buy.
Our goal is to empower you to provide you with information about these artificial sweeteners. We know that you deserve to get all of the facts before you decide what to put into your body.
Without further ado, let's look at the primary advantages and disadvantages of artificial sweeteners. Once you've gotten the facts, you may be ready to make a decision about whether or not to use these lab-created sweeteners.
Advantages of Artificial Sweeteners
These sweeteners are lab-created, and they are designed to help people access sugar-like taste, without the calories.
Since real sugar is often a component in weight gain, those who want to lose weight may find the calorie-free or very low-calorie nature of artificial sweeteners to be a distinct advantage.
It's possible to use artificial sweeteners in many ways. For example, you might want to add a packet of artificial sweetener to your coffee or use artificial sweetener as a sugar substitute while you're baking.
Many of these sweeteners are quite versatile, and some will taste better than others. Testing out different brands in the key to finding what's right for you.
It may be fun to experiment with different brands, and you'll find that most artificial sweeteners are not too expensive, which means that exploring the options will not break the bank.
In general, most products are available for a few bucks or a little more. You may also choose product sizes.
As well, if you're trying to enjoy better oral health, you may find that choosing artificial sweeteners over real sugar helps you to avoid tooth decay. Real sugar is very sticky, and it makes acids which boost the odds of decaying teeth and cavities.
When you choose artificial sweeteners, you won't need to worry about this, as they don't break down in the same way within the mouth. Therefore, avoiding sugar and using artificial sweeteners will be a great way to avoid de-mineralisation.
Also, those who are diabetic may find that artificial sweeteners give them the ability to soothe their sweet tooth, without ingesting real sugar, which has a tendency to wreak havoc with blood sugar levels.
The body won't recognise artificial sweeteners as carbs, and this is a good thing. Artificial sweeteners don't have much of an effect on blood sugar overall.
Artificial sweeteners are versatile, and this is another plus!
Since they come in packet form or larger containers, they may be taken on the go or used at home for cooking or to add sweetness to almost anything. A lot of these products are designed to be used just like sugar.
However, you should always read the instructions on the package before you start cooking with artificial sweetener...or add it to something. In some cases, you may need to use more or less artificial sweetener, versus how much real sugar you would use in the same situation.
Learn About the Bad Side
Artificial sweeteners are made in labs. They don't come from Mother Nature. One exception is Stevia. However, most are lab-created. Since some people don't like putting lab-created chemicals into their bodies, this is a downside for a lot of people.
Also, since our bodies are not designed to handle these chemicals, as they are unnatural, they may collect within the gastrointestinal tract. This is the reason why some people have digestive difficulties when they use artificial sweeteners.
For example, they may suffer from bloating, gas pains or loose stools. The body rejects artificial sweeteners sometimes and moves them towards the liver organ, to detoxify the body.
It's a lot like what happens when we drink booze. If you want to avoid the ill effects of this detoxification process, it may be best to stay away from artificial sweeteners.
Also, these types of sweetener products have been known to cause cravings for foods which are high in calories. Unfortunately, these cravings may lead people to overindulge.
A lot of people aren't aware of the link between cravings and artificial sweeteners, so it is important to be aware that these sweeteners may have an impact on what you want to eat. Whether you give in to cravings depends on your level of willpower.
Some people don't want the hassle of having to resist these cravings!
Another drawback of these sweeteners is that they are intensely sweet. Regular consumption of them may change the way that you experience the taste of "real" sweet foods, including berries and bananas.
Some people just don't like the taste of artificial sweeteners, so this is another potential disadvantage. After all, if you're going to add this type of sweetener to a recipe, drink or whatever, you want it to taste good, otherwise using it as an add-on or recipe ingredient may backfire.
For this reason, we recommend that you test out the taste of an artificial sweetener before you use it on food or in a drink. In general, these products taste a bit like sugar but also have a chemical taste.
In other words, you're bound to know that you're not ingesting real sugar. It's better to taste-test a few brands before settling on something. It's possible that one of the leading brands of artificial sweeteners is right for you. That being said, some people dislike them all.
In addition to digestive difficulties, these lab-created sweeteners may trigger headache pain or make users feel more tired. It's really important to track your experiences with this products.
In other words, once you start using them, check in with yourself now and then and ask yourself if you're experiencing any new symptoms.
For example, if you're not typically a headache sufferer and you get headaches sporadically or chronically after starting consumption of artificial sweeteners, there may be a problem there! An elimination diet will typically resolve the issue.
If you do decide to eschew artificial sweeteners, you should know how to check labels to ensure that the foods that you buy don't contain them.
One word to watch for is Sucralose. This is another word for the brand-name artificial sweetener, Splenda. Another word to watch for is Aspartame, which may be called Nutrasweet or Equal.
Another word for an artificial sweetener is Acesulfame K, which is the scientific name for the brand-name product known as Sweet One. If you see products which are marketed as having no sugar, that's a key that artificial sweeteners may be being used instead. So, consider that a red flag and check the labels before you buy.
What Do You Think?
We've now covered the main pros and cons of artificial sweeteners. We've researched the advantages and drawbacks, with a mind to helping you access the factual information that you need.
At this point, you may have some idea about whether or not these types of lab-created sweeteners are right for you. Some people avoid them like the plague, while others find them to be invaluable ways to add a bit of sweetness to life.
In the future, more information about the pros and cons of these products may become available. At present, we've covered all of the basics, by letting you know the good and bad side of these sweeteners. Knowledge is power, and we want you to learn all that you can about the good and bad points.
For this reason, we encourage you to use this articles as a reference. Bookmarking it is one option, and another option is saving it in a digital document and reading it now and then.
Of course, you may have already made up your mind. For example, if you're a diabetic, you may have already decided to use these artificial sweeteners, because they are good ways to enjoy the sweet taste without negatively impacting blood sugar levels.
Another possibility is that you're attempting to lose weight and realise that substituting these lab-created sweeteners for real sugar may help you to achieve your goals.
We're all different. Some people prefer a natural and organic approach to eating. For example, they avoid anything which isn't grown fresh, and this includes the chemical components in artificial sweeteners. Others may fear the cravings that artificial sweeteners trigger.
Hopefully, our guide has made it easier for you to make a wise and informed decision. To wrap things up, let's talk about the most popular artificial sweeteners on the market.
We've mentioned some brands already, but this concise list will make it easier for you to test out different sweeteners of this type if you want to. Often, some trial and error are involved regarding finding the right brand for your taste buds and preferred applications.
Which Artificial Sweeteners are Popular?
Acesulfame Potassium has been around since the Sixties, and it's way sweeter than actual sugar. In fact, it's two hundred times sweeter! You'll find that this type lab-created sweetener on store shelves, under the name, Sunett. It's also a popular component in a lot of food products, including chewing gum, syrups with reducing calorie counts and instant gelatins.
Another popular choice is Aspartame, which is probably the most famous artificial sweetener. It's added to brand-name formulas, including Equal and Nutrasweet, and Aspartame is found in tons of food products all over the globe. Learn more about Aspartame here.
While this isn't the best choice for baking, as it doesn't maintain its chemical structure well when it's exposed to high levels of heat, it's great for some applications, hence its popularity.
Sweeteners made from Cyclamate are also out there. These artificial formulas aren't sold in America, as they aren't approved.
However, you'll find them in a lot of other world nations. At present, Cyclamate is used in Great Britain and Canada. The Canadian version of Sweet N Low contains Cyclamate, while the American version is fortified with saccharin instead.
Make the Right Choice for You
Some people avoid artificial sweeteners entirely after learning about their drawbacks. Others cut down on consumption of them. Some people focus on the advantages of artificial sweeteners and use them instead of sugar whenever they can. Others increase consumption of artificial sweeteners but don't stop using real sugar occasionally.
Finding the right ratio and making the right choices is what it's all about. There is a lot of misinformation about the pros and cons of these products, and we've tried to share only the hard facts today.
What you choose to put into your body is important, and it's vital that you have real facts about the good and bad properties of these lab-created sweeteners, rather than a lot of misinformation. For this reason, we hope that you've found this detailed guide helpful!
Now is the right time to make smart decisions about using these products. So, which decision will you make?